Saturday, October 18, 2014

Smart phone TV remote app may be an issue in bars and restaurants

My phone came with an app that allows it to work as a remote control for your TV and cable.  I tried it out once for fun, but it's not actually better than my regular remote, so I have no use for it.

The other night while I was closing my bar at 1:45 am some friends of mine who were still there decided to mess with me.  After I shut off the television, one of them turned it back on.  From her phone.  All you need to make the app work anywhere is to be able to read the brand of the TV and/or cable box.  And that got me thinking...

I remember times when I've been in the Wharf Pub on Martha's Vineyard (where last call is 12:30 am) and they turned off a west-coast Red Sox game at a dramatic moment just before the end.  Now I could discretely flip the TV back on for a minute to see the final out.

There's also been many occasions where I've gone to a bar or restaurant specifically to watch a certain game, but had lots of troubling getting the staff to put it on the TV.  Now bar patrons could simple change the channel themselves (if the cable box is close by).  Which would be fine, unless somebody else was already watching whatever was previously on.

Or how about when a person would like to hear the TV, but the establishment has decided not to turn up the volume?

This app has the potential to be a nightmare for bartenders.

Links to NBA team previews, Atlantic and Pacific Divisions

For the second straight year is participating in an blog exchange of NBA team previews.  I post theirs on my site, and they all post mine on theirs.  Here is the third and final set of links:

Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics: CelticsBlog | Red's Army | Celtics Green | LucidSportsFan 
Brooklyn Nets: Nets Daily | Baller Mind Frame
New York Knicks: Posting and Toasting 
Philadelphia 76ers: Liberty Ballers
Toronto Raptors: Raptors HQ
Pacific Division
Golden State Warriors: Golden State of Mind
Los Angeles Clippers: Clips Nation 
Los Angeles Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll 
Phoenix Suns: Bright Side of the Sun 
Sacramento Kings: Sactown Royalty | Basketball Intelligence

Friday, October 17, 2014

10 years ago today: The greatest stolen base in baseball history

October 17, 2004.  ALCS Game 4.  New York at Boston.  Bottom of the 9th inning.  Yankees lead 4-3.  Dave Roberts.

These Kevin Millar quotes from earlier in the evening are absolutely chilling in retrospect.

Yesterday I read a great article from about the 10th anniversary of the 19-8 Game 3 massacre, and the role Tim Wakefield played that day in the Red Sox eventual comeback.  Wakefield sacrificed his Game 4 start by offering to do mop-up duty in Game 3 to preserve the bullpen.  But his story of how it came about is amazing:

"So I got up and I went down to Tito [Terry Francona] and I said, ‘Do you need me to do anything, tonight? You need to go to the bullpen? What do you need to do?’ And he hesitated for a second, and he said, ‘Go ask Derek [Lowe] if he can start tomorrow. And Derek was still on the roster, but he wasn’t slated to do it. He wasn’t in the bullpen. He wasn’t going to be one of our starters. So I went down and I asked Derek, I said ‘D, um, Tito wants to know if you can start tomorrow,’ and he got this big grin on his face and he said, “Yeah,” I’m like ‘alright.’ So I ran in and I got my glove and took off for the bullpen..."

Lowe stayed in the rotation after that, and ended up winning the deciding ALCS Game 7 and the World Series clinching Game 4 as well.  Unbelievable.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Simplest analysis ever of why the Patriots can be OK without Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley

Oddly enough, the Patriots also placed Jerod Mayo on season ending IR exactly one year ago today, October 16, 2013.  After tearing his pectoral muscle, New England went 6-3 over the remainder of the regular season without him.

When Stevan Ridley contracted a massive case of fumblitis (three in three games) last November, he then became a non-factor and primarily rode the bench for three weeks.  The Pats went 2-1 in that span, including a victory over the eventual AFC champion Broncos.  In the Denver game Brandon Bolden (pictured) rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries with Ridley out of the picture.

I'm not saying Bolden is the savior or anything, my point is just that this team knows how to deal with these situations.  Yes, the injuries are unfortunate, but for the Patriots it's "been there, done that."

Also, New England hosts the Jets tonight--remember what happened when these two squads met on a Thursday in 2012?  The worst play in NFL history.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Kansas City Royals are going to the World Series, but should they lose a game first?

The Kansas City Royals are going to the World Series.  Yes, they still have to win one more game.  But guess what: The Orioles are not about to become the second MLB franchise to ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit (33 others have failed).

Kansas City is only the third team in history to start a postseason with seven consecutive wins.  But in defense of the 1976 world-champion Reds, they only played seven games.  The other club to do it was the 2007 Rockies, who actually won 21 out of 22 (14 of 15 to close out the regular season, and all seven in the playoffs) on their way to the World Series.  But after sweeping the Diamondbacks in the NLCS, Colorado had the next nine days off.  Their momentum disappeared, and they got dismantled by Boston in four straight games.

Maybe KC should consider dropping one along the way?

I'm live blogging this game for Bleacher Report, take a look!

And Since I've already worked two of the three Red Sox titles in the last decade into this post, here's the third:

Looking back at the magical ride of the 2013 Boston Red Sox

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Something crazy is going to happen during the Celtics-Nets preseason game on Sunday

The NBA is conducting an experiment, and the game will last just 44 minutes (instead of 48).  Each quarter will be 11 minutes rather than 12.

My first though is this: Remember back in 1990 when the Big East tried out a six-foul rule?  The league turned into a mild bloodbath when players were allowed to commit six fouls (instead of 5) in a 40-minute game before be disqualified.

Maybe the NBA has a plan to foul-out players after exactly 5.5 infractions during the 44 minute exhibition?

Links to NBA team previews, Southeast and Southwest Divisions

For the second straight year is participating in an blog exchange of NBA team previews.  I post theirs on my site, and they all post mine on theirs.  Here is the second set of links:
Southeast Division
Atlanta Hawks: Peachtree Hoops
Charlotte Hornets: At The Hive
Miami Heat: Hot Hot Hoops
Orlando Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post | Orlando Magic Daily
Washington Wizards: Bullets Forever
Southwest Division
Dallas Mavericks: Mavs Moneyball 
Houston Rockets: The Dream Shake 
Memphis Grizzlies: Grizzly Bear Blues 
New Orleans Pelicans: The Bird Writes
San Antonio Spurs: Pounding the Rock
And here is my Celtics preview from yesterday:
Boston Celtics 2014-15 Season Preview (all you need to know in just over 37 seconds)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Boston Celtics 2014-15 Season Preview (all you need to know in just over 37 seconds)

Boston Celtics
Last Year's Record: 25-57
Key Losses: Kris Humphries, Jerryd Bayless
Key Additions: Marcus Smart, James Young, Evan Turner, Tyler Zeller, Marcus Thornton

1. What Significant Moves were made during the offseason?

Not many.  The Celtics drafted Marcus Smart with the No. 6 pick and James Young at No. 17.  They signed Avery Bradley to a four-year $32 million contract extension.  When it became clear the Kevin Love deal wasn't in the cards, Boston chose not to play its hand for the time being.

2. What are the team's biggest strengths?

On the court, it's an abundance of guard depth.  Smart will likely be the backup to both Rajon Rondo and Bradley.  Evan Turner, Marcus Thorton and possibly Young (if he doesn't end up in the D-League) will all add scoring punch off the bench as well.  But, the Celtics' real strength is the way they're positioning themselves going forward with salary cap room and extra draft choices.

3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?

The lack of a defensive presence in the paint (shot blocking) will be a big issue.  Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger should get most of the frontcourt minutes, but Olynyk is a perimeter player and Sullinger is generously listed at 6'9".  Who is the go-to guy/crunch-time scorer?  It's not Jeff Green.  It's never going to be Jeff Green.

4. What are the goals for this team?

To determine who fits into the club's long-term plan, and figure out how to move on from those who don't.  Ideally that would include developing Olynyk and Sullinger into an effective tandem in the post, and building a solid three-guard rotation with Rondo, Bradley and Smart.  If that happens Boston might look like an attractive location for a star to come to in 2015-16.

5a. What does the future hold for Rondo?

I don't think the Celtics will trade him; I just can't see any teams making an offer Danny Ainge thinks is good enough.  After that I'd say it's 60/40 whether or not Rondo signs a five-year max contract to stay in Boston, or goes elsewhere on a shorter deal for less money.

5b. What will the Celtics record be this season?

The same as last year, 25-57.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Recycle Sunday No. 13: Columbus Day Weekend Edition

I was crazy not to rank Paul Pierce as one of the five greatest Celtics ever.

I would love to work somewhere that fired people once a month "Survivor" style.

Should athletes really get to celebrate their retirement for an entire season?

Remember that Malaysian plane that disappeared?  I think what happened to it must be something outside the realm of what we think is possible.

My plan for becoming a winter Olympian in 2018 in South Korea.

Fact: There is no such thing as "low calorie alcohol."  Alcohol has calories.  If you want to drink, there's just no way of getting around it.

If LeBron James wants to be remembered as better than Michael Jordan, he should only sign one-year contracts and try to win titles in as many places as possible.

I think football would be better without kickers.

People who don't clean up after their dogs should be banished from society altogether.  I have a plan...

Baseball managers should be more adventurous with their 9th inning pinch-hitting.  Who cares if they don't have the right people to play defense afterwards, they're going to lose anyway.

Do you ever dial phone numbers anymore?  How many numbers do you know off of the top of your head?  I can come up with two.

How many NBA players would it take to beat a WNBA starting five?

In the very near future we're going to have to consider the issue of healthy athletes having surgeries to make themselves perform better.

A few lessons learned from my first experience as a credentialed reporter.

Back to homepage